A good team makes the difference between passing and failing

FanFinders MarTech company creating ‘value exchange’ between consumers and brands

Please introduce yourself and your start up FanFinders to our readers!
I’m Alec Dobbie, co-founder of FanFinders and a father of 2 from Yorkshire. My start-up FanFinders is a unique MarTech company creating ‘value exchange’ between consumers and brands. FanFinders drives honest communication from our own network of 1.8 million members who joined our vertically aligned member’s clubs. All connections are genuine and honest, so are naturally GDPR compliant. Our services are pay on results which is quite a unique concept in Marketing.

Additionally, at FanFinders we have developed proprietary tech that can be used in partnership with brands and businesses looking to launch their own membership verticals. We can give brands and businesses access to an engaged and loyal membership base of over 1.8 million, which is growing by over 60,000 per month.

How did you get the idea to FanFinders?
Our first members club is a Mum and Baby club called Your Baby Club, and I developed the idea for it when I had my first son, Jack now 9! Before and after our first baby was born, my wife and I were spammed via post and email from brands who seemed to have no clue of our actual life stage, they were getting all their marketing wrong. The majority of the rubbish we received was quite honestly a waste of time and money for the brand. Traditionally, parenting brands have bought lists of data from parenting clubs without any true insight into who they are marketing to. A lot of the data was generated off line, was incorrect, insufficient and not 1st party ‘opted-in’ for marketing purposes.

You Baby Club digitalized this business model, offering so much more than just data. Our club verticals allow brands to developed a comprehensive marketing campaign that can fulfil any of their KPI’s from exposure, email, social media, downloads, as well as genuine and insightful leads.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Our biggest challenge was disrupting an industry of 50+ years standing and proving to large brands that we can do what we say we do and more. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and so we did a number of campaigns FOC to get things running, working freelance jobs on the side and living from savings and credit cards. It was a risk, but once brands had used our method, the benefit was clear and we were in business. Getting off the starting blocks was the most challenging part.

Who is your target audience?
For us this question is two-fold, as we target both brands (B2B) and consumers (B2C). To develop our membership base for our club verticals we currently target a female demographic aged between 16-45 (ish) and for B2B we target parenting and nursery brands as well as beauty, lifestyle and health.

What is the USP of your startup?
We have a few actually. Firstly, we own and operate 2 verticals that have a combined membership base of over 1.8 million, a social media following of more than 350,000 and a subscription newsletter with over 300,000 opted in. We have access to a highly targeted demographic in the UK which is growing by 60,000 each month. Our membership-base is quite an asset. Secondly, we developed and own the technology connected with these verticals, and as such we are able to work in partnership with brands so they can access our technology and launch their own club verticals, tapping into our membership-base.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
• 5AM Up at with my youngest son Tom. Feed him and me, usually porridge or a “dippy” egg.
• 530AM Work, emails, issues from previous day.
• 630AM Weights at the gym, then back and more food and shower
• 715AM Check numbers from previous day, start bothering people.
• 8AM Read with children
• 830AM Walk children to school
• 850AM Call Adam our CCO on my walk back from school.
• 9AM At my desk
• 12PM Walk my dog on the moors, on the phone 50% of the time
• 1PM Back at my desk
• 315PM Walk to and from school with kids
• 345PM Back at my desk
• 630PM Finish
• 7PM Put kids to bed and read to them
• Evening with my wife book reading/watch TV/play with kids (If they are up)
• 9pm Sleep – this is really important to keep up productivity, I’m a bear with a sore head with less than 8 hours sleep.

Where do you see yourself and your startup FanFinders in five years?
If our plans and projections work out, FanFinders will be a leading MarTech company operating in 10 geographic regions in multiple vertical markets. For me, I see myself living in the same house in Yorkshire with my wife and boys, possibly with another dog (We already have 1 newfoundland)

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1 Create a “team”. A good team makes the difference between passing and failing.
2 When picking team members pick well. You want people that are smart, nice and get shi*t done. There is no place for ego’s in start-ups.
3 Be humble but not a walk over, you will disagree and not everything should be a comprise. As the boss you need to make the call, don’t leave this to others

More information you will find here

Thank you Alec Dobbie for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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